Morning Consult: Half of Americans want teachers armed

A new poll shows half of Americans support arming teachers. (Dave Workman)

A new Morning Consult/Politico survey shows that 50 percent of American voters agree with President Donald Trump’s suggestion that school teachers should be allowed to be armed.

At the same time, according to The Hill, “nearly 7 in 10 Americans responding to the poll support stricter gun control laws following the Florida high school shooting.

The survey was conducted Feb. 22-26 among a national sampling of 1,992 registered voters, Morning Consult reported. Forty-two percent didn’t like the idea of armed teachers and 8 percent weren’t sure.

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It is not clear what kind of “stricter” laws Americans might want, but there have been several ideas floated since the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. President Trump has been supportive of armed teachers, while many educators and police officials have disagreed. On the other hand, many teachers who have signed up for training courses over the past few years evidently do like the idea.

A few states have revealed that there armed teachers in various school districts, and there have been programs to help train those educators.

According to The Hill, support for gun control is growing among Republicans. Fifty-three percent said they favor tougher gun laws, the newspaper said, which is up considerably from the 37 percent who wanted stronger gun laws following the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Arming teachers has been recommended since the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy in Connecticut almost six years ago. That December 2012 attack, by a disturbed individual who murdered his mother and took her guns marked the beginning of a gun control effort that has seen the rise of billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying groups including Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. They have turned money into a political weapon by lobbying and by pushing citizen initiatives on the ballots in several states.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida lawmakers have created a new statewide program that will allow armed teachers in the classroom. Residents of Parkland protested, but the Sunshine State could soon see the development of a “school marshal” program. It would require the approval of local school boards and superintendents, the newspaper said.

This legislation also raises the minimum age for firearms purchases to 21 and includes a three-day waiting period on gun buying.

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